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sometimes inspiring, sometimes personal meanderings of the Heart's opening in the every-day-ness of life...

Friday, October 22, 2010

Noticing Thoughts Window

Every night at the Window is a different noticing it seems. Lately I’ve been noticing the movement of thoughts.

Initially when I sit I usually notice a tangible sense of Calm and Peace, as was the case a couple of nights ago. Then I noticed that “I” was being distracted by thought, accompanied by a subtle visceral sense of contraction in different places in the body – fear thoughts here, anger thoughts there. When I became aware of this, I would bring my awareness back to the space of Calm and Peace and then once again notice that over a matter of a few minutes thought had somehow pulled my awareness away again. This happened several times in a slow rhythm of awareness from one to the other. This was even noticed in the movement of the eyes as I sat with eyes closed. When I was *resting* in Calm and Peace the gaze was inward. Sometimes it was towards the window to my left, as if listening to the Calm at the window – “out there” – external. When I became aware of thought, it was noticed that my eyes were directed upward and to the right – as if thinking was “up there” somewhere.

A thought became a chain of thoughts, which then became a “swarm” of thoughts (this word borrowed from a friend, but is also what I experienced.) And it was noticed that I had no control over these thoughts. I could not stop thinking, as some teachings suggest. This is what the mind does. It thinks. All I could do was bring my awareness back to the Space of inner Peace and Calm.

It was experienced that there is a pull of Consciousness, the *Space* of Calm and Peace, and a pull of thought in a subtle rhythmic movement as awareness seemingly shifts between the two. Attention gets focused on thought, then, with awareness of that, there is a shift in awareness to Calm and Peace. But I had to consciously keep bringing the focus to the space of Calm – and not get entangled with thought.

In this *natural* movement it was realized once again that thought cannot be stopped, or controlled. I had to consciously choose not to follow thoughts out into infinity, to not indulge in speculation about the future, or resentment and regret about the past. I had to continually bring awareness to the inner space of Calm – the only Now there is. Some nights were more successful than others.

The “trick”, if there is one, seems to be to learn to rest the awareness in the internal Space of Calm (or however you want to call it). Just be there - *aware* of the movement of thoughts and feelings; aware of what is awareing this; allowing - not trying to wrestle oneself from the mind, but gently bringing awareness to this aware space of Eternal Rest again and again - entraining with this Still Space that is only Now…


“By ‘Here’ I don’t mean this present space.
Here is somewhere within where mind cannot reach.
Presence is always here and you are always That.
Here is not the opposite of there.
This here is nowhere.
It is your Heart.
…it all comes back to the Heart.”


  1. Beautiful exploration and 'insight'. Thank you.
    Isn't it that the "I" that".. had to continually bring awareness to the inner space of Calm" Is the observing awareness itself, which actually never leaves that expansive space of calm. It's only the incessant activity of the narrow-bandwidth conceptual mind. That all-witnessing awareness is never distracted. Yet where is there an 'observer' to be found in this?

  2. Hello Vereda... Thank you for coming by and leaving your comment.

    Yes, it was my experience that non-conceptual Awareness was aware of both the thoughts *and* the space of Calm and Peace - essentially Awareness aware of ItSelf - watching the movement of ItSelf - It is the "I" that Sees... No separate observer - just Awareness awareing.

    Non-dual languaging can get pretty tricky, and I'm not a "mainstream non-dualist" - just following the Heart and sharing "my" experience of Truth as best "I" can :)...
    Humbly -Christine

  3. And perfectly so Christine, Just this!

    Didn't mean to sound 'mainstream', just trying to find the words that, how-be-it, point to that which lies beyond words beyond the conceptual-mind, the ineffable experience of presence. Thank you for sharing this experience :)

    Doesn't it seem that language itself can become an entrapment in the mind of 'clever' conceptual ideas?

  4. Vereda ~ No you didn't sound "maintstream." But since I don't know you I'm little gun-shy, as "traditional non-dualists" sometimes like to pick the words apart. The word police :) And I'm not into argumentation. I think once we actually See, words are no longer an issue. Then we can use words like "I", "me", "awareness", etc. freely. As you say the words become a trap, creating duality where there is none.

    Thank you for your contribution here! Christine

  5. Thank you Christine.

    Once we see ...

    there is only silent understanding ...

    And the magical display of awareness it's self

    Just a thought on thoughts ...

    As they come ...

    They go ...

    To where who knows?

    Awareness present ...

    Through it all ...

    'Meandering' Such a beautiful site to visit.

    Thank you.

  6. Ahhh - Dear Vereda - Thank you! And I love visiting your site as well! Love the way you express Awareness :) Such simplicity of depth sings to my Heart... You are always welcome here.

  7. Hi Christine, I enjoyed your beautiful image with autumn colors against blue sky and your Noticing Thoughts post. Thank you! Here a couple of additional ideas about noticing thought that I have found helpful:

    Pema Chodron advises when we notice thought happening, just label it "thinking" without judging if it's good or bad and let it be.

    "Once thought is noticed, you're free from it." ~Nicholas Powiull

  8. Hi Diane ~ Thank you... I love Pema Chodron. I am not familiar with the other, but I like the quote. It does seem that "awareness" is the freeing agent, so-to-speak. :) Thank you for your contribution! Christine

  9. yes to all the observations about thoughts! I especially like "swarm of thoughts", that pretty aptly describes the busy mind. And it can be such a different experience each time we sit down, sometimes my mind is this "swarm" and other times it is a quieter beast!

  10. Hello ZDS! Good to see you here again - shining your flashlight :) Your last line made me laugh - "sometimes my mind is this 'swarm' and other times it is a quieter beast!" :) I remember Jack Kornfield said that the mind is like a puppy dog, you just have to keep bringing it back to the cushion...

  11. Dearest Christine et al,
    'Back to the cushion' it goes...'Resting the Awareness in the internal Space of calm"...that is the Window for tonight.


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